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Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group wants to expand its marketplace Lazada into Europe. Lazada will focus on local merchants instead of cross-border sales like AliExpress. Only recently, Alibaba’s logistics company Cainiao set foot in Belgium.
Sources that know of the expansion plans told Reuters. Lazada is an online marketplace where third-party merchants can sell products and use dropshipping services. The company was founded in 2012 by German incubator Rocket Internet, which previously launched ecommerce success Zalando. It was acquired by Alibaba Group in 2016 for 1 billion euros.
Over 159 million active users
Lazada is currently the leading ecommerce platform in Southeast Asia. In 2021, the marketplace had over 159 million active customers, generating 21 billion dollars of gross merchandise volume (GMV). Mother company Alibaba aims for 300 million Lazada users in 2030, as well as a GMV of 94.8 billion euros (100 billion dollars).
Alibaba’s aim for European growth
Which European countries Lazada plans to enter, is not specified. Currently Alibaba is active on the European market with marketplace AliExpress. However, AliExpress mainly rakes in cross-border sales from China. Instead, Lazada will focus on local sellers in Europe.
In November, Alibaba’s logistics company opened a central hub in Belgium.
The expansion is a part of Alibaba’s recent move towards Europe. Only in November of last year, Alibaba’s logistics service Cainiao opened a central hub at Liege Airport in Belgium. This is supposed to be a central distribution location for European sales.
Competition in China and Europe
Back home in China, Alibaba is met with fierce competition from social media ecommerce platform Pinduoduo Inc and Douyin, the Chinese TikTok. Additionally, there are more regulations in place limiting market dominance for retail giants such as Alibaba.
Alibaba is met with fierce competition back at home.
Previously, other major competitor Shopee expanded in Europe. The online marketplace launched in Poland, Spain and France last year. The latter was pulled back however, due to stagnating growth.
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